Source: Sudan Vision
Combating Gender Based Violence (GBV), has been a national and international concern for a very long time.

Twenty-One years ago in the outcome document (Platform for Action) of the Fourth World Conference on Women convened in Beijing, China in 1995 said that:

"Violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of the objectives of equality, development and peace. Violence against women both violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. The long-standing failure to protect and promote those rights and freedoms in the case of violence against women is a matter of concern to all States and should be addressed. Knowledge about its causes and consequences, as well as its incidence and measures to combat it, has been greatly expanded since the Nairobi Conference. In all societies, to a greater or lesser degree, women and girls are subjected to physical, sexual and psychological abuse that cuts across lines of income, class and culture. The low social and economic status of women can be both a cause and a consequence of violence against women.
The document defined the term "violence against women" means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.
It called on governments to enact and/or reinforce penal, civil, labour and administrative sanctions in domestic legislation to punish and redress the wrongs done to women and girls who are subjected to any form of violence, whether in the home, the workplace, the community or society.
In this context there continues efforts in Sudan to combat GBV resulting in the creation of a special unit in the Ministry of Justice to address this challenge.
Lately, the government have enacted some law reforms to strengthen these efforts, The Media been an important partner in this efforts, the partners in the campaign against GBV (Ministry of Social Welfare, Ministry of Justice, UNDP, UNFPA, UNWOMEN) and others organized a forum on the new legal reforms on 28-29 July, 2015 to sensitize the journalists and civil society on these important new legal reforms.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Rule of Law Division head said in the forum that GBV is a human right violation and it affects all countries, poor and rich, developed and developing and 7 out of 10 women suffer some form of violence all around the world and are affected negatively by this crime.
She added that we are honored to participate in these national efforts to combat GBV. The amendment of Articles 149 and 151 of the Sudanese Criminal Code is a great step in the right direction to address this women human right violation.
The UNDP representative stressed on that the challenge require the efforts of all the stakeholders, government, civil society organizations and United Nations agencies.
Same affirmed very strong the UNDP commitment toward with all the stakeholders to combat GBV and called upon all to participate actively in this campaign while highly commending the government institutions hard efforts in this regard.
UN Women have been an active partner for all national institutions in the promotion of women rights and well-fare both in Khartoum and the states and this was demonstrated by the words of the UN Women representative in the Forum.
She congratulated all those who have worked very hard to make these amendments which will help very strongly in combating violence against women and sexual harassment and mild stone on women rights in Sudan, and a very important step in the promotion of Sudanese women rights.
The UN Women representative pointed to that although there have been campaigns and many activities and laws all round the world but still there is a large percentage of violence against women worldwide.
So, there is a need to dismantle and implement these amendments in Acts 149 and 151 which strongly criminalize rape and sexual harassment. The aim is to reach a society free from all forms of violence against women.
She concluded by that there is a need to think about the future steps and strategies to work towards these ends and which requires mobilization of all kind of resources and cooperation between the different stakeholders. 
The United Nations Population Fund (NFPA) plays an important role in the promotion of women human rights and welfare and so the participation of UNFPA Sudan Representative in the forum was important.
In her address in the forum, the UNFPA representative pointed that these legal amendments of the criminal code show the Sudanese state commitment to the protection of women rights and dignity which will improve their status in the society.
She affirmed that UNFPA have been working for decades with government especially those concerned with these amendments, the Ministries of Social Welfare and the Combating violence Against Women and Children in the Ministry of Justice  and civil society organizations.
It stressed that during the last two years , UNFPA have strengthened this cooperation vide the Campaign of Intimacy and Merci  which in compose the religious, health, social and legal aspects of the issue of violence against women under the guidance of the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
This partnership provides the UNFPA with the chance to participate in the campaign against violence against women vide many strategic interventions and to support national strategies and programmes in this respect.
The UNFPA Sudan representative concluded by that it takes this chance to reaffirm commitment to cooperation with all partners national and United Nations agencies to promote implementation of these legal amendments by providing financial and technical support  in all areas of concerns.
The Combating Violence Against Women and Children Division in the Ministry of Justice have been under the leadership of Dr. Atiyat Mustafa playing an important role in the protection of women and children.
In her address in the forum, Dr. Atiyat pointed to that the efforts to amend the criminal code have started since 2007 and now this aim have achieved but this is not the end of our work because we need to see these amendments implemented on the ground. There is need for a wide awareness rising campaign because many of the problems are connected with negative traditions and norms in addition to that many women do not know about their constitutional rights. The 2005  Constitution Bill of Right have endorsed affirmative action towards women rights but the implementation and awareness about these rights needs a lot of work from all the partners.
She concluded by that there is a lot of work going on for more amendments that promote women rights and welfare.
The last speaker in the forum was the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Social Welfare in behalf of the minister who said that these amendments come within the framework of implementing the National Women Empowerment Strategy. And which requires the amendments and reforms of many laws and regulation that hinder women rights.
Same time stressed on that poverty is also a key element in gender violence and so the government is working on this issue as a multi dimensional problem and not only legal one.
In conclusion, we would to shed some light on CVAW (the Campaign of Intimacy and Merci) - (Mauda and Rahma) which has been mentioned several times during the forum. It is a new approach for social reform launched by the Unit for Combating Violence Against Women (Ministry of Justice) and the UNFPA in coordination with the ministry of religion and endowment, civil society organizations, academic institutions and many other stakeholders.


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